June 4th, 2008
12:21 PM ET
14 years ago

Lieberman attacks Obama over foreign policy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.lieb.gi.jpg caption="Lieberman had sharp words for Obama."](CNN) - On the first day of the general election campaign, the very first Republican conference call attacking presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama featured his party's 2000 vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Lieberman.

"Senator Obama argued today that American foreign policy in recent years has essentially sort of strengthened Iran," said Lieberman on a conference call for reporters hosted by John McCain's campaign Wednesday. "..If Israel is in danger today, it's not because of American foreign policy, which has been strongly supportive of Israel in every way. It's not because of what we’ve done in Iraq, it’s because Iran is a fanatical terrorist expansionist state."

On the same call, Republican Rep. Eric Cantor of Ohio said Obama's speech did nothing to dispel doubts about his commitment to Israel.

Both men spoke shortly after Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington. The GOP has been hoping that concerns by some in the Jewish community about the Illinois senator's willingness to diplomatically engage Iranian leaders will allow them to make inroads with that crucial Democratic voting bloc.

Lieberman, who endorsed John McCain earlier this year, has been increasingly critical of Obama - particularly his goal to end the war in Iraq. The Democrat-turned-independent has been a strong supporter of President Bush's Middle East and Iraq policies.

Obama endorsed Lieberman in his 2006 Democratic primary battle against challenger Ned Lamont. But after the Connecticut senator lost and decided to run as an independent, Obama switched his support to Lamont, who shared his opposition to the Iraq war.

soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. noemi of reason, latina for obama!

    Please Mr. Traitor Lieberman, just be quiet!! You have no face to speak... you are a flip-flopper and America does not appreciate it.

    June 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Sandy

    I believe Obama won't accept the debate challenge for McCain because he doesn't want to show his weakness before Denver convention. Otherwise, the superdelegates will change their minds. However, I would love to see Hillary to run as an independent candidate (as Joe Lieberman did in 2006) and win the election in the fall to show the DNC how stupid they are to pick Obama because I believe she can lead and can solve the problems that we face now and she has the most popular votes than any other candidate. She can help American people and she understand how people have suffered.

    June 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It's good Lieberman switched to Independent. He has too much integrity to be a Democrat.

    June 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Letha, SD

    Oh this is so funny. When do you think Obama will call Iran to setup that talk so he can tell them to stop picking on Israel? His tone begins to change and the rhetoric is new. Funny, Funny!

    June 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. jon

    go away with your nonsense you are what many would call a mole

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Travis (in the real world)

    Who turned over the rock and let Lieberman out?.....him and McSame are quite the pair....good running mates....is ya listenin' Bush III?

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. M.S. Indiana

    Fear mongering wont work this time Lieberman....

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Debby

    Lieberman is a good spokesman for the Jewish community especially in Florida. Obama has some work to do.

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. CW, St. Paul

    Joe-mentum has left the station on the wrong track.

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. David

    Poor Joe,
    I used to think that this guy was honest but he is nothing but. I think the democratic party should punish this guy for his betrial of his party. He is a close friend of McCain and eventhough he is 'officially' an independent, he is what he is because of the democratic party. It is a shame

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Ron

    A wanna be veep for McCain. He brings youth to the ticket. Take him, Republicans.......Take him, please.

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. R.I.F.

    "It's not because of what we’ve done in Iraq, it’s because Iran is a fanatical terrorist expansionist state.".....
    The GOP just doesn't get it. They are so busy attacking everything that Obama says that they don't even realize how weak their arguement is. Iran is expanded in terms of terrorist because we have made Iraq a training ground. I guess they think we are to go along with whatever Lieberman says about Iran and Israel just because he's jewish. Joe's out of touvh and so is the entire GOP.

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. s

    Now, it is on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, I'm loving it probably more than the dem race!


    Obama '08

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Rory O Shea

    This might be off-topic but how sad is it that CNN can't spell "foreign" correctly? I see these typos all the time, it's pathetic.

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. True

    I'm tired of the Israel & Palestinian rhetoric! Can we please start concentrating on America!!! Lets bring our troops home and get our country back on track. Let the Israelis and Palestinians sort out their own issues like grown countries!!! Lieberman should go move to the Middle East and work for them full-time cause he sure doesn't spend enough time talking about the US's issues.

    June 4, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Gary P.

    It's baffling to me why anyone would listen to what Lieberman has to say. He's an opportunist of the worst sort.

    June 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Disgusted by Lieberman/McCain

    Stupid Foolish Ignorant Idiot!

    June 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Please somebody get that dude. He really needs to shut up.

    June 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Colony14Author

    Hmmm, how about McCain choosing Lieberman as his running mate? At least Lieberman believes what he says about Israel, in contrast to Obama, who tells the voters what they want to hear but will readily throw Israel under the bus if he gets a chance to "make a deal" with Syria, Hamas, Iran, the PLO, et al. Never trust someone who is "willing to talk with anyone;" you don't "deal" with the thug who wants to steal your dollars by offering your coins. You fight back and rid the world of the thug. If you don't, you encourage the creation of more thugs.

    June 4, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Chip Pudims

    Obama is a great charismatic orator with virtually no qualifications to be President. He is going to need a very long arm to reach all the way across the aisle from his position at the extreme political far left.

    June 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. TKB from DC


    June 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. nitro

    Joe Lieberman you cant stop this machine from moving forward. You guys took a messager of God and tried to use the words he said against Obama. What ever Rev. Wright said , if it was that bad God will deal with him. But this machine is being powered by God and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it from moving. May God be with each and everyone of you.

    June 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Mark

    It is astounding to me that any person would consider Joe Lieberman's worldview to be appropriate. Iran is stronger today than it was before we invaded Iraq. To dispute this is to dispute the truth.

    Any informed person knows (and should have known before the Iraq folly) that the reason Bush Senior left Saddam in power was the knowledge that taking him out would disrupt the balance of power between Iraq & Iran, creating a vacuum into which Iran would step.

    This wasn't just predictable; it was predicted. However, those like Lieberman and McCain cannot and will not admit the failure of their own judgment and now seek to smear Obama with the same kind of fear tactics perfected by Bush Jr. and Karl Rove.

    Look, America, Bush/McCain/Lieberman foreign policy has FAILED. If you vote to continue it then you deserve to continue down the road to being a second rate power.

    June 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Mark

    I hope McCain chooses him as running mate – then they will loste 47 states 🙂

    June 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Canuck

    lucas is another example of an open minded democrat liberal. mavericks like Joe and Zel are turned on is a second. Dem mavericks, you are always welcome in the repub party.

    June 4, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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